AgTexas invests in Texas Tech’s CASNR MILE Program
By: Lindsay Kennedy
Texas Tech University's Matador Institute of Leadership Engagement Program has received support from AgTexas Farm Credit Services who will sponsor the program's South Plains and Panhandle agriculture tours. These regional tours are part of the MILE Program's premiere travel experiences that expose student members to each regions' industry sectors and community leadership. AgTexas will contribute $90,000 over five years toward the MILE Program.
MILE is a three-semester leadership and professional development program in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources that exposes students to the key issues affecting local, state, and national agriculture while expanding their personal and professional skills.
"AgTexas' investment in our students will make a significant impact on their development as future leaders in the agriculture industry," said Lindsay Kennedy, MILE program director. "Hands-on tours and industry engagement are at the heart of the MILE Program, and AgTexas' sponsorship of two of our cornerstone experiences will help us offer high-impact learning opportunities for our students."
The 14 student MILE members met Sept. 11 at AgTexas' Lubbock location, marking the first in-person meeting of the program's second cohort since the university closed due to COVID-19 in March. The session, which focused on professional development, included an overview of the farm credit industry, media training, and a resume and cover letter critique, as well as a discussion with CASNR Dean William Brown about the state of the college.
"AgTexas is committed to the future of agriculture, and we are thrilled to partner with Texas Tech University to support the MILE Program," said Tim McDonald, AgTexas CEO. "These students represent some of the best and brightest young minds in the agriculture industry. We are honored to work together with Texas Tech to make sure tomorrow's leaders in agriculture have a bright future."
Kennedy said student safety is a top priority, and all program meetings and tours are pre-approved by the Texas Tech President's Office. MILE sessions strictly adhere to mask and social distancing guidelines set by the university.
"We take these safety measures very seriously," Kennedy said. "Having AgTexas as a partner certainly helps us continue offering transformative, in-person learning opportunities for our students in a safe environment."
During the program, MILE participants enroll in three academic courses focused on the personal, service and community aspects of leadership and are required to complete a professional internship. The cohort will also participate in professional development workshops and agriculture tours across the state and will travel to Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C., to meet with industry and government representatives. Each student will receive a leadership certificate upon graduation from the program.
The following students represent the second MILE cohort:
• Taylin Antonick, AAEC, Henderson, Texas
• Samantha Barnett, ACOM, Florence, Texas
• Tyler Brimager, NRM, New Braunfels, Texas
• Lindsay Dube, ACOM/CMI, Thrall, Texas
• Mason Ewing, AAEC, Van Alstyne, Texas
• Macey Gerhart, ANSC, Winters, Texas
• Steven Iida, NRM, Spring, Texas
• Lacy Jackson, ACOM, Seminole, Texas
• Sydney Lundberg, AAEC/ACOM, Albuquerque, NM
• Martina Martin, AGED, Franklin, Texas
• Carson Read, ANSC, Decatur, Texas
• Riley Reep, ACOM, Ropesville, Texas
• Kullen Sorrels, ANSC, Dalhart, Texas
• Alondra Torres, AAEC, Sanger, Texas
CONTACT: Lindsay Kennedy, Assistant Professor of Practice - Agricultural Communications and Matador Institute of Leadership Engagement Program Director, Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-8240 or Lindsay.Kennedy@ttu.edu
PHOTO: Members of the CASNR MILE Program's second cohort met with representatives of AgTexas Farm Credit Services Sept. 11 at their Lubbock location. Pictured (left to right) Martina Martin, Samantha Barnett, Tim McDonald (AgTexas), Carson Read, Lindsay Dube, Macey Gerhart, Kullen Sorrels, Alondra Torres, Lacy Jackson, Riley Reep, Sydney Lundberg, Tyler Brimager, Mason Jones, Steven Iida, Taylin Antonick, Kristy Tucker (AgTexas), Kayla Robinson (AgTexas), and Lindsay Kennedy.
0928NM20 / Editor's Note: For more information about the CASNR MILE Program, please click here